HOW TO KNOW WHEN TO SPLURGE OR SAVE ON HOME FURNISHINGS

 

HOW TO KNOW WHEN TO SPLURGE OR SAVE ON HOME FURNISHINGS

Have you ever wondered, “Am I spending too much on this”? When it comes to home furnishings sometimes it’s hard to know! Do you have a tough time figuring out what you should spend on things like sofas, side tables, trendy accents or lighting? I think most of us do. With a little homework, a budget and knowing what to splurge on and what to save on you can make a decision on the right furniture for your home! I have decades of first hand experience and lots of research under my belt to help you! Let’s make today the day we know… should I save or should I splurge!

I am the Queen of finding great… no, outstanding buys! I’m not bragging… just fact. Ask any of my friends. 70% off is music to my ears! My home may look expensive but it’s created from being a savvy and shrewd buyer. I like expensive I just don’t like paying for it! Developing an eye for beautiful things and how to put them together is so important!

What to splurge or save on is a very relative question! What I might think is a splurge might be a save to you. It all depends on income and how much we are willing to spend on things for our home. Only you know your budget and your sense of style!

One big piece of advice that has served us well here at StoneGable… create a budget for any home furnishings and try to stick to it. We save up before we spend and that saves a whole lot of buyer’s remorse and financial worry!

Here are some important questions to ask yourself when thinking about buying home decor.

QUESTIONS TO ASK:

A GUIDE TO KNOW WHEN TO SPLURGE OR SAVE ON HOME FURNISHINGS

How many years do I want to get out of this piece? 

The longer you want to hold on to a piece of furniture or home accent the more you should consider spending. Quality is the important thing when you want something live in your home any length of time.

Just a word of caution: many of us get tired of a piece far before we think we will!

How long do I expect this piece to hold up?

Only spend the amount of money you want your home furnishing to hold up. Here, let me explain…

We bought two 18th century sofas 31 years ago (I was just a baby). We  saved and saved and spent a fortune on them. They were exquisite! As years passed styles changed and I finally  tired of them. One problem thought, they were still beautiful… not in style, but beautiful! Never did I think when I was purchasing them just how long I expected them to hold up. Because we spent so much money on them and they stayed in great shape for decades I could not in good conscience get rid of them. They lived at StoneGable for 27 years! Twenty years longer than I really wanted them. If you remember one thing from this post… remember that!

How much will this piece get used?

A GUIDE TO KNOW WHEN TO SPLURGE OR SAVE ON HOME FURNISHINGS

If a piece gets heavy use spend more. Think about quality and great wearing fabric!

Is this piece a classic or trendy style? 

Classics can stand style changes and therefore get more use than any other styles because they stay in vogue longer. So, spend more on classics that stand the test of time. Trendy is fun but think of them as almost disposable!

Can I use this in another part of my home?

You can get lots more wear from a chair that you can move from the living room to the bedroom. Or a side table from the family room to the living room. The more places a piece of furniture or an accent can be used the more you can (not should) spend!

Now, let’s talk about what home furnishings to splurge on and what to save on! You might not agree on everything on either list. And that’s okay. These lists will give you something to think about!

SPLURGES!

A GUIDE TO KNOW WHEN TO SPLURGE OR SAVE ON HOME FURNISHINGS

Mattresses

We spend up to one third of our lives in bed. Your body deserves a comfortable, well made mattress! This is the number one home furnishing to spend your money on! A good night’s sleep is priceless!

Heavily Used Furniture

A GUIDE TO KNOW WHEN TO SPLURGE OR SAVE ON HOME FURNISHINGS

Furniture you use every day should  be a splurge. Consider comfort first!  Buy good quality, reputable brands when they are on sale.

I like to get 7 to 10 years out of a sofa. So I will spend just enough to get 7 years out of it. But I want 7 comfortable years that the sofa and the material has held up very well!

Kitchen tables and chairs, dining room tables and chairs (if used heavily) dressers, bookcases and buffets are all examples of “splurge” items!

Office Chairs

If you sit any length of the day at a desk or office space get a great chair. Your back will thank you!

Recliners

SAVE OR SPLURGE-HOME FURNISHINGS

Recliners tend to be very hard use chairs. And they have moving parts. Get the best you can afford! Now you can find beautiful, chic recliners that look like club chairs. Who knew?

Bed Pillows

Just like a mattress, pillows make a big difference in your sleeping habits. Get one that works best for you no matter the cost! And replace it when it wears out!

 

MIRRORS

SAVE OR SPLURGE-HOME FURNISHINGS

Mirrors are a real toss up. I have both expensive, investment mirrors and very inexpensive ones! So, maybe mirrors can be both a save and a splurge. I must admit the mirrors I still swoon over and the ones that are fabulous quality and cost more. A beautifully made mirror stands out!

SAVES!

SAVE OR SPLURGE-HOME FURNISHINGS

Accent chairs

Save money when buying accent chairs that don’t get much wear! You can even find accent chairs at vintage and second hand shops. Think about painting or having them reupholstered.

Many discounted online furniture sites have amazing buys on accent chairs! A note of caution… make sure you know the shipping cost. 

Decorative Pillows

SAVE OR SPLURGE-HOME FURNISHINGS

There are so many places to find affordable and amazing decorative or throw pillows! Don’t get sucked into the uber expensive fabrics that send the price of pillow through the roof! Think of accent pillows as seasonal jewelry. If you pay less for them you can change them up.

One small investment is buying down inserts for your pillows. They make a difference!

Case Goods

Nightstands, side tables and coffee tables are the kind of furniture that you don’t have to spend big bucks on. I would say don’t go cheap, but don’t splurge. Think about upcycling what you already have with paint!

Lighting

SAVE OR SPLURGE-HOME FURNISHINGS

There is gorgeous lighting out there! And some lighting is way too expensive for most of us! All these gorgeous lamps and chandy’s and light fixtures might look amazing in our homes but unless they are scrutinized it’s hard to tell their quality. For me, lighting is all about style. Most popular high end styles have more inexpensive knock-offs! Save your money and get a knock off!

The chandy in my dining room was just over $200.00 on amazon.com. A great buy!

Art

I might get some blowback from this! If you are an art lover and invest in art then by all means splurge. But if you just want to fill your walls with what you love I say save!  Sometimes art can look expensive and original if you splurge a little on the frame.

Curtains

SAVE OR SPLURGE-HOME FURNISHINGS

Curtains are a save item in my book. I make or find them on sale. My local Pottery Barn Outlet has beautiful curtain panels for less than $12.00 a panel.  If you save on curtains you can get more than one pair and change them seasonally! There are really nice online curtain companies. Peruse them and  I bet you can find stunning curtains for a reasonable price!

I made the curtains in my living room and dining room. They fabric was on sale. The biggest cost to me was sweat equity!

Accent Pieces and Accessories

SAVE OR SPLURGE-HOME FURNISHINGS

Instead of investing in expensive accent pieces and accessories that will go out of style and end up in the basement, invest your time looking for inexpensive accessories that LOOK expensive! That’s a win/win!

RUGS

Like mirrors I could put rugs in either the save or splurge category! If you are buying wall to wall carpeting that must last for years, I say get the best you can afford! But if you are using area rugs, find good ones on great sales or buy great looking inexpensive rugs. 

We spent big bucks on a few gorgeous oriental rugs for StoneGable that are now rolled up in our basement. Will we ever use them again? Probably. But that’s a whole lot of money to be sitting in the basement right now! My favorite rug is a zebra pelt in the living room.  I got it online. I can’t say is was inexpensive, but it was a song compared to a real zebra pelt!

One of the most asked questions I get is, “Where did you get your dining room rug”? It’s actually an indoor/outdoor rug. Perfect for a dining room and quite inexpensive! Nothing we spill on it stains! BTW: It came from Ballard Designs.

TRENDY DECOR ITEMS

Trendy items are here one day and gone the next. Use them in your home with an edited eye and don’t spend much money on them! They will update your room but just don’t let them brake your bank!

SAVE OR SPLURGE-HOME FURNISHINGS

I hope this will help you make those hard decisions about saving or splurging on furnishings! Whether you decide to save or splurge make sure you LOVE what you put in you home!

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HOW TO KNOW WHEN TO SPLURGE OR SAVE ON HOME FURNISHINGS

17 Comments

  1. I totally agree on you points of splurge and save. But if an item no longer works for me, and I usually try different rooms and uses, then I pass it on to someone else who would consider it a great find. In my large family we trade off beds, dreseers and tables. I still have a great heavy mirror my aunt handed down to me over 15 years ago. It was used in different houses in different ways. Now I’m planning in painting it so I can re-purpose it, again.
    If a piece has truly done it’s time I donate it or save it for our complex one a year purge aka yard sale.
    I like your timing on sofas. I’m over our leather one and it’s easily 8 years old. Great shape but I’m ready to move one. This gives me a basis to tell my hunny bunny we need something new.

  2. I loved your explanation of your dining room rug. I actually thought I recognized from the Ballard’s catalog because I was considering it as a rug for our front door. I recently purchased a very inexpensive indoor/outdoor arts and crafts style rug. Everyone that has commented on it was surprised that it is not wool. It is very practical because we have doors that lead to an outdoors eating area. No worries about tracking dirt or spilling food. Thanks for the post.

  3. What a beautiful home! Everything seems so elegant and modern. Love the gorgeous white tulips flower in a white jar used for the display. Thanks a lot for sharing these great ideas of splurge & save.

  4. Great advice Yvonne!….I have always been one who will save and save for pieces that are important and has a direct result on comfort…What is nice now is that we have so many more resources for furnishings, etc to shop for the best price….the internet has certainly given us that and the power to make the right and affordable choice.

  5. Oh dear! I wish I’d read this BEFORE I bought my hand-knotted Persian rugs! Mine are rolled up in my dining room (we have a geriatric dog).

  6. We wanted very traditional couches and chairs in the living room, and couldn’t find what we wanted, so we had them made (11 years ago). We just finished having them recovered, plus new foam and batting on the arms, seats, and ottomans.

    The place that recovered them told me that they are good quality–really good–and that the frames will last 100 years. Most frame, he told me, are now only built to last 2-3 years!

    I’m not at all tired of the style; they are pretty classic and the couches have one cushion instead of 2 or 3 in the seat. We paid to have them not just recover them, but also to make slipcovers for them. I think that will really pay off in the long run.

    Our rug in the same room is pretty traditional looking as well. We bought it 10 years ago and just paid to have it cleaned. We’re so glad we did! It looks wonderful.

    For throw pillows, I just made new ones (using old bed pillows for the stuffing that I washed, dried, and cut to size first). I bought the fabric on sale and sewed them up. Since our couches are a solid color, I can make new covers for the pillows if I want to change the look of the room.

    Our dining room chairs get heavy use; we eat at that table 3-4 times a day. plus the children do their schoolwork there. We bought inexpensive chairs, and with small children, I haven’t regretted it. We’ll need to replace them within the next year, and we’re planning to buy inexpensive ones from the same manufacturer again. We recovered the seats in vinyl (because of the children) and they’re now making some that already have vinyl seats on them, which will be a help, as the seats need to be wiped off after each meal.

    As far as art–I am the daughter of a picture framer, and my father sent me to framing school. One thing I’ve learned is that you can make a poster look expensive with a good frame. We have some large posters that we’ve had my father frame. Spend money on the framing rather than the artwork when you can. That said, you can often find large peices of framed artwork at yard sales for low prices. Keep the frame and change out the artwork.

    1. Hello Brandy: my (late) husband and I bought our two (patterned) loveseats back in the late 80’s from a reputable Canadian company, Barrymore. The fabric and frame was still like new when, in 2013, we decided to have them reupholstered in a neutral plain color. The style is classic and will never go out of style and I still love them. A good company, such as the aforementioned, will have a video or text on how their furniture is built … unlike these other companies that put together couches, etc. with glue and staples! As Yvonne said, it all depends on priorities; on what a shopper is willing to splurge or save.

  7. I work in the furniture industry… Very good advice. Thank you. I love to change up my pillows/pillow sleeves and accent pieces so I definitely save on these. Each home has it’s own personality just like the the owners. 🙂

  8. like you my sofa is 24 years old and I am looking to purchase a new one! Not that anything is wrong with it but so tired of it! Trying to decide what to buy is hard! thanks

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